Sometimes, things just work. No matter how big they may be, or how many cats need herding, they reach a kind of social critical mass – and it all just falls into place.
So it was last night.
Outside, we had fans queuing for hours in the cold – clutching dedicated pieces of Who memorabilia they’d treasured for years. We all know the return of Who has spanned the generations, bringing families together on a Saturday evening – my son is seven and no-one feels this more than I do. But to see it really brought to life is quite something. From the girl from the US with the TARDIS earrings and the painted jacket, to the Dad with FOUR eager cubs out there with him… truly, the Doctor spans space and time.
Inside, everything was gleefully organised chaos. Steven Moffat chatted to his gobsmacked fans, Mark Gatiss had a thing about peg dolls, Ben Cook offered very fine scarlet hair and Tom MacRae offered equally fine studded scarlet boots – the writers of Who are a garrulous and colourful bunch. The atmosphere they brought with them was voluble and festive.
Chatty or not, they’re efficient – flawlessly herded by Clayton Hickman and Garry Russell, the whole crew really linked with their fans and put in a sterling evening’s work.
Prior to last night’s event, we’d been a little nervous about accommodating something of that size – that many people, that many fans – but experience tells, it seems, both theirs and ours. Either that, or FP is bigger on the inside.
At the end of yesterday evening, a great many people went home laden with presents and smiles. They’d had a moment, and they’d snagged something cool for Christmas Day.
And that’s really what makes this stuff special.